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This Month In Life
  • Give Them Chores
    All too often parents underestimate the ability of their children to pitch in around the house. However, if you don’t want kids who grow up spoiled, spoon-fed, and self-absorbed, it’s time to put them to work. Here’s why. Read >>
  • Germs at the Gym
    You go to the gym to get healthy not sick. Unfortunately, gym equipment, towels, mats, and locker rooms are breeding grounds for bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Take these measures at the gym to stay healthy. Read >>
  • Bye-Bye, Bedtime Battles
    Unfortunately, bedtime battles aren’t just a problem tonight. They can also affect the next day. Without enough sleep, kids are more likely to be irritable, emotional, hyper, disobedient, and overweight. So what can be done to make bedtime a less stressful event? Here are five ideas. Read >>
  • High-Alert Eating
    You can be allergic to any food, but the most common triggers include eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. As you know, some of these foods are found in practically every processed food on store shelves, making eating a challenge. Here are a few tips on managing life safely with a food allergy, wherever life takes you. Read >>

Bye-Bye, Bedtime Battles

Five ways to help kids transition to bedtime without a fight

If putting your kids to bed each night was as easy as it looks in the movies. Read a story, give a kiss, turn out the light, and then enjoy blessed quietness. What is it about kids and bedtime? They mix like oil and water.

You know your child is tired and she’s got an early morning ahead, but getting her to sleep can last for hours. She’s hungry, thirsty, needs one more story, begs for one more hug, is scared of the dark, can’t sleep with so much light, needs the door cracked wider, and on and on. After it’s all said and done, mom and dad are exhausted.

Unfortunately, bedtime battles aren’t just a problem tonight. They can also affect the next day. Without enough sleep, kids are more likely to be irritable, emotional, hyper, disobedient, and overweight. So what can be done to make bedtime a less stressful event? Here are five ideas.

I’m not great at bedtime stories. Bedtime stories are supposed to put the kid to sleep. My kids get riled up and then my wife has to come in and go, ‘All right! Get out of the room. - Adam Sandler

1. Routine

Kids thrive on consistency and schedules. When they know what’s expected, they feel a sense of control and security and put up fewer battles. This is why a bedtime routine at the same time every evening and the same wake time every morning is important. With this, children’s internal clocks get set and their bodies adjust accordingly. Consistency may be difficult with older siblings, busy schedules, and weekend events, but stick to a routine as often as possible and you’ll see results.

2. Teamwork

Both parents must agree on a bedtime routine and work as a team. When one parent allows the kids to stay up late but the other is strict about bedtime or when one parent gives in to every request for more hugs, stories, and snuggles but the other won’t allow it, conflict arises. Agree on a bedtime plan with your spouse, tell your children what’s expected, and everyone will benefit.

3. Unwind

Kids need time to unwind so their bodies and minds prepare for sleep. Turn off the television, phones, and screens an hour before bedtime. Bedtime routines may look different for each family, so find what works best for your kids. Examples include calming music, a warm bath, a snack and drink, a story, a talk about what’s on your child’s mind, and a kiss goodnight.

Take care of all their anticipated needs before bed so your children can’t cry that they’re thirsty, need to potty, or want to talk, because it’s already been done.

4. Motivation

A child who consistently gives a battle at bedtime may benefit from a little motivation. When he sticks to the routine and doesn’t climb out of bed or cry for you, reward him with praise and his favorite breakfast in the morning. After a week of good nights, plan a special play date or a trip to the playground.

5. Separate Beds

Studies show everyone sleeps more soundly and safely when in their own beds in separate rooms. Learning to sleep alone is an important skill for children’s emotional development. The sooner a child learns to sleep in her own room, the easier the transition will be. Parents will also benefit from their time alone together each night.

Once a child is put in bed, she’s there to stay. Remain calm but firm and put the child back into bed without speaking or making eye contact. You may have to repeat this 50 times the first night and 100 the next, but after a few nights, she’ll get the point and stay in bed.